I Lived Fully

Living Life to the Full


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The Paper Bag Theory

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about meeting/finding/attracting the “right” guy. During the course of the conversation she said that she was going to go stick her head in a paper bag and see what would happen. Now my friend did not literally stick her head in a paper bag. What she meant by her statement is that she wasn’t going to worry about trying to find the “right” guy.
Instead she was just going to be herself and not try to be someone, that she is not just to attract a guy. My friend ended up calling her idea “The paper bag theory.” In short the paper bag theory is this. You will be yourself and not worry about attracting a member of the opposite sex.

Two types of small paper bags

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that would never work. Well here’s some food for thought. Do you want someone to be attracted to the front that you put up to try to attract someone? Or do you want them to be attracted to the really you? Any kind of relationship won’t last if it’s built on false hood. It will eventually wither and die.

In a previous post I wrote about the masks we wear. In it I talked about reasons for why we wear masks and I posed the question “what would happen if we stopped wearing masks and showed each other our true self’s?” Since I wrote that post I have been trying to live without any masks. Some times I succeed and other times I fail miserably. In doing so I have found a sense of freedom and liberty that I never had before. I am not trying to please any one and I don’t have to hide behind masks and false fronts. Because I’m being myself and not who other people think I am. I’m more confidant in myself and my abilities both as a person and as a leader in my church young adult group.

If you’re stressing out and worrying about finding that “right” guy or girl. Why don’t you give the paper bag theory a shot. Who knows you might be surprised by the results. So, what happened with my friend, and did her paper bag theory work? Well, I think I’ll save the answer to that question for a future date.

-Roland K


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What is Fear?

What is Fear? What causes it and where does it come from? The Ox-ford dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety of someone.” In some cases fear is caused by our fight or flight response. For example, being chased by an angry bear is going to induce some fear. However, fear is much more complex than just our fight or flight response. We fear things that we shouldn’t be afraid of.

A couple weeks ago I saw the movie After Earth with a friend of mine. There is a point in the movie when Cypher Raige, played by Will Smith, says to his son “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist.”

If you asked my friends if I was a fearful person. Most of them would probably say “no”. However the truth is much different, and much more complex. In general I am not a fearful person, I have almost no phobias and it takes a lot to spook me. However, I tend to over think the future and what it holds. This causes me to worry and be fearful of something that hasn’t happened yet. For example two weeks ago my dog, Jake, was in a lot of pain due to having tweaked his back. He’s doing much better now, but during the worst part of the whole ordeal I was thinking to myself “is this it? Are we going to have to put him under?” Now Jake is about twelve so he is getting up there in dog years, and hopefully he’ll be around for a couple more years. Jake is also doing much better now that he’s on a pain killer/anti-inflammatory medication.
So why do I share this story? I use it to highlight the fact that I was thinking, worrying, and stressing over a future that I had no control over. This is the type of fear that I struggle the most with. But it isn’t just minor things like my dogs health. I am fearful of things like who am I going marry or what kind of career am I going to pursue. For me fear is worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened. The cause of that kind of fear is the fact that the future is in a sense a fantasy or in other words it’s a lie! But you don’t have to take my word for it. In the video below Mike Donehey the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North does an excellent job explaining fear.

So if fear is “the consequence of every lie.” How should we respond to it? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that if you “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” But, is that the correct response to fear?  The answer I think is yes. When we do the thing we fear, it’s hold over us lessens.

Now you may be thinking to yourself “Hold on! Timeout! What about the fear of something I have no control over?” Well there are ways to control that too. For example, say you are fearful of an unexpected financial emergence, like a family member falling sick. Well in that case start putting some money aside in a emergence fund so that you can respond to unexpected financial emergencies. Now my example is a little simplistic, but hopefully it conveys my point. If you are afraid of something happening, go and do something about it!

When we do the thing we fear, we counteract the lie that caused the fear. We see that fear is nothing more than a mist that vanishes in the light of the sun. So the question remains. What do you fear and what are you going to do it?

“avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
-Roland K